I wouldn’t be telling you anything groundbreaking by saying that the defenseman position is the least heralded in daily fantasy hockey. For evidence of this fact, all you need to do is look at the disparity in DraftDay salaries between defensemen and centers/wingers/goalies. There’s normally about a $4k–$5k salary difference between top defensemen and high rated players at all of the other positions.
With this being the case, many daily fantasy hockey players make the mistake of treating defensemen as an afterthought when filling out their lineup. And while the bulk of your salary cap shouldn’t be focused on defensemen, that’s not to say you should overlook this position because it can help you win some major money. So let’s cover some tips for selecting daily fantasy hockey defensemen to make sure this position is properly valued.
Tip #1: Look for Offensive-minded Defensemen
While goals and assists aren’t the only things that help you win in NHL daily fantasy hockey, they certainly go a long way towards earning you money – especially when these goals and assists are coming from a defenseman. Seeing as how you can get such a big boost from offensive-minded defensemen, you should look at these players first when filling out your lineups. Some of the top offensive-minded players at this position include Shea Webber (Nashville Predators), Dan Boyle (San Jose Sharks) and Alexander Edler (Vancouver Canucks). Just remember that you’ll be paying a higher salary for players like these who are good on offense.
Tip #2: Understand how DraftDay’s Scoring System can help Defensemen
As I mentioned in the first tip, goals and assists don’t comprise all of the points you earn in DraftDay.com NHL games. This is why it’s important to understand what other factors will help your defensive players score points. For example, defensemen are known for scoring plenty of points in the penalty minutes and plus/minus categories. And you get 1 point for every goal scored when your defensemen are on the ice, while you get 0.25 points for every penalty minute they spend in the box. That said, it helps to choose defensemen who rack up a lot of penalty minutes, and/or play on successful teams that outscore their opponents by a lot of goals.
Tip #3: Watch for Defensive Players who are in on Power Plays
As with any other position, a defenseman’s chances of scoring greatly increase if they’re on the power play. After all, they’re playing against a shorthanded team, which provides an excellent chance to pick up an assist or goal. On most teams, only two or three defensemen will see action during the game’s power play moments; so you should concentrate on these players when looking at a team’s defense. Even if your player merely takes a shot on goal during the power play, they’ll still earn you a half point.
Tip #4: Save Money with Defensemen
There are some excellent defensemen who can score a lot of points for you on any given night. But as it stands, the players who give you the best opportunities for goals and assists also cost the most money. Assuming you’ve spent a lot of money on the other positions in your lineup, defense is always a good place to find value picks. For example, you can choose a mid-priced player on a good team like the Boston Bruins’ Joe Corvo, who has an excellent chance to score points in the plus/minus category. But no matter who you’re looking at for this position, keep in mind that you don’t have to spend $12k–$13k just to get a decent player. However, if you have the money, a great defenseman is always a nice luxury!
Tip #5: Make sure your Defensemen are getting Good Minutes
One more thing you definitely want to consider when choosing daily fantasy hockey defensemen is that you need to make sure they’re getting on the ice. Now every defenseman is going to play as long as they’re suiting up, but the amount of time they are playing makes a significant impact on their scoring chances. It’s always nice if your defensive players are getting at least 25 minutes a night since they’ll have more opportunities to get penalty minutes, be in on the plus/minus scoring, and maybe even get a goal or assist.
Above all, put some time and thought into picking the defensemen for your daily fantasy hockey lineups. Assuming you pick right, you could be in line for a big win!